Old Dominion University
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College of Business and Public Administration

Insurance and Financial Services Center


Finance majors at Old Dominion University (ODU) can choose the Insurance and Financial Services track. ODU is committed to preparing students for the rapidly changing risk management and insurance professions. The risk management profession is becoming extremely important as the world becomes more risky. Just about every company of any size has risk managers.

Traditionally, an organization's risk management function has dealt mainly with insurable risks facing the organization while other types of risk, such as financial, operational, and strategic risk, are handled by other departments. This uncoordinated approach of dealing with risks in silos no longer works.

Enlightened organizations are progressing toward enterprise risk management (ERM), which handles risks holistically by taking a portfolio view of risk, considers risk-adjusted returns when allocating capital, applies risk in a strategy setting across the enterprise, and manages risk to be within its risk appetite. Organizations are creating the chief risk officer (CRO) position, which moves the risk management function into the top executive ranks where strategic decisions are made. Done correctly, ERM not only protects shareholder value but also creates it.

In addition, insurance companies, agencies, and brokerages directly employ almost 2.4 million people in the USA, and 85 percent of insurance-related jobs are for non-sales positions, such as underwriters, claims adjusters, actuaries, examiners, loss control engineers, fraud investigators, accountants, and auditors. Contrary to popular opinion, only 15% of insurance jobs are in sales. While the right person can make a tremendous living in insurance sales, there are plenty of other opportunities. The insurance industry is also scrambling to create new types of insurance to deal with new risks faced by individuals and corporations. The Insurance and Financial Services track is also a great choice for those interested in the financial planning, risk management, and employee benefits professions

Both the risk management and insurance professions are facing an aging workforce with a large number of baby boomers nearing retirement. A new generation of risk managers and insurance professionals will be needed to help individuals and organizations deal not only with common risk exposures but also with emerging risks related to climate change, the aging of society, increasingly complex technology and supply chains, the health insurance crisis, globalization, pandemic illnesses, and terrorism.

If you have already decided on a non-Finance major, a minor in the Insurance and Financial Services track can increase your marketability during your job search.  In a world of escalating risks, the ability to identify, analyze, mitigate, and transfer risk is becoming increasingly important in every department of an organization.

The Insurance and Financial Services track at ODU aims to serve as an intermediary to bring the right students and corporations together, both providing the industry with the new generation it desperately needs and providing students with a satisfying, meaningful, and well-paying livelihood. Success in this mission will benefit our students, their new employers, ODU, and society.

The courses in this track provide a strong foundation in the risk management and insurance areas. In addition to learning from the textbook, industry speakers will regularly come to the classroom. Students will also work on class projects related to current issues facing the risk management and insurance industry.

Insurance and Financial Services Track:
Choose elective courses based on your career interest

Interest in Life-Health Insurance/Employee Benefits/Financial Planning:

  • FIN 410: Life and Health Insurance
  • FIN 411: Employee Benefits
  • FIN 431: Investments
  • ACCT 421: Taxation

Interest in Risk Management/Property-Liability Insurance:

  • FIN 412: Commercial Property-Liability Insurance
  • Want to become a chief risk officer (CRO): Double major in Accounting and Finance is a great start.

Interest in Actuarial Work:

  • Minor in Math (actuarial mathematics option)
  • Major in the Insurance and Financial Services Track: FIN 433: Financial Risk Management: Intro to Futures and Options (non-majors can also choose to minor in this track).